Friday, 14 October 2016

Bob Dylan

I am pretty bewildered that people keep getting enraged about Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize for Literature. Earlier I saw that the Grauniad was angry because Bob is a straight white male. It's difficult to cohere how I feel about such an accusation being levelled against a chap of Jewish ancestry, who changed his name to be accepted, and who later became an evangelical Christian.

However, I thrive on minutiae. So while the Guardian condemns for being insufficiently unusual, the Daily Telegraph scorns him for not being a dreadful writer. The prize should have gone to Philip Roth or Doris Lessing. Apparently. Because they are both so much better than Bob.

I remember Lessing being included in my GCSE English or perhaps A-level General Studies. She wrote something about pigeons. I bought a Roth book some years ago. He wrote masterfully; he described in detail a tedious situation. It was so dull, so lacking in interest, so bereft of any spark of value that I didn't even finish the first chapter. It's either sitting unread on my shelf or I gave it away. Sorry, recipient, I should have given you some Homer.

I am being unfair. The Telegraph actually says that "A culture that gives Bob Dylan a literature prize is a culture that nominates Donald Trump for president. It is a culture uninterested in qualifications and concerned only with satisfying raw emotional need."

The Daily Telegraph has said stupider things before. Anyone who read it back in 1997, and hasn't pretended to have forgotten, will remember their lie that all or most of the foxhounds in the UK would be slain when Tony Blair's piss-weak anti-hunting bill went through. That's a long time ago, though. Surely they have supported a cause recently which has blown up in their faces!

I write this from the United Kingdom, which was the fifth largest economy in the world before the recent Brexit vote. After the vote the UK became the sixth largest economy.

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